BOD Decision — 2022/11/23-07 — Measurement of Earnings Loss — Wage Inflation Adjustment Factor
On November 23, 2022, WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors approved an amendment to policy in Item C6-40.00, Section 196 Permanent Partial Disability Benefits, of the Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual, Volume II, to clarify the factor used to adjust earnings for inflation in calculating a loss of earnings award.
Prior policy changes revised the factor to use the same approach as is used under the Workers Compensation Act to adjust the maximum wage rate each year, based on the change in average wages and salaries in B.C. The prior policy change described the factor in terms of the change in maximum wage rate. However, due to a legislative amendment to the maximum wage rate for 2021, the maximum wage rate for that year does not reflect the change in average wages and salaries in B.C.
The approved changes clarify earnings are adjusted to account for inflation based on the change in the annual average of wages and salaries in B.C., without reference to the change in maximum wage rate, in order to confirm and continue the original intent of the prior policy changes.
To reflect the original intent of the prior policy changes, the effective date for the clarification to policy is January 1, 2021, the date when the legislative amendment to the maximum wage rate became applicable. The clarified policy applies to all decisions made on or after January 1, 2021, including appellate decisions.